Excerpt From A Book By Fredrick Swan

croissant-101636“The Troyon is a small, neighborhood hotel in Paris where Kathy and I and friends once stayed, and it is where, in the hour just before an early summer dawn, Kathy and I got out of bed while wrapped in a blanket and huddled together on the balcony. The balcony, in its narrowness, protruded reluctantly from our room and, surrounded by the dulled noises of that early morning hour, its grated railing was beginning to filter the aromas of brewing coffee, citrus, and breads. Near the hotel there was a bakery with an attached café, and as we nestled beneath the warmth of the blanket and breathed in the promising notes of our first morning in Paris, the windows of the bakery were being meticulously lined with rows of individual cakes. The cakes, we would discover several hours later, had been glazed over with lemons, berries, cream. Upwards from the gnawing thoughts of breakfast, our view encompassed the edges of roof tiles and the different shapes of the chimneys that were silhouetted against the sky. Looking down from these chimneys and through the rising scents of breads and espresso, we could see the moving shadows of people on the street. On the more generous balcony of another building across from us, a couple sat in chairs. They were sharing a cigarette, its embers illuminating the alternating darkness around their faces. Crouched side by side and watching the street like children spying from a tree house, neither of us, crowded up against one another and the railing all those years ago, could have ever imagined that a day would come when one of us would be using the memory of this balcony, the address of this hotel, and a book held close to his face as a means of attempting to spy into and illuminate the darkened spaces of himself.”

Excerpt from Parentheses: A memoir of my life before, during and after my death by Fredrick Swan

May 2014, Available at Amazon.comparbook